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Vortec heads and TPI style intake or Carburetor?

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Old 08-24-2017, 08:31 PM   #1
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Vortec heads and TPI style intake or Carburetor?

So i had an engine issue with the rings on my 350 TPI GTA. I was going to do a rebuild but instead I got a great deal on an engine. An old buddy of mine had his old 89 formula he stripped down and was parting out, and he gave me the entire car with the engine for $800. The engine was carbureted and it has 10,000 miles on the rebuild and has the following work done:
355 small block
TRW forged pistons
Comp XE268 cam
Vortec Heads
Crane Gold Roller Rockers 1.6
Edelbrock RPM airgap intake
Cloyes double roller timing set
010 2bolt main high nickel block

So my question is, would it be easier and cheaper just to get a carburetor for the intake? And if so whats involved? Different fuel pump, etc... I thought about sticking with the tpi set up, however i heard theres only certain tpi type intakes compatible with vortec heads. Any suggestions on where to get a compatible intake? I saw JEGS has this..
http://www.jegs.com/i/Speedmaster/746/PCE148.1048/10002/-1
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Old 08-24-2017, 09:21 PM   #2
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Re: Vortec heads and TPI style intake or Carburetor?

What does NJ require for emissions? That will be the deciding factor.
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Old 08-24-2017, 10:32 PM   #3
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Re: Vortec heads and TPI style intake or Carburetor?

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What does NJ require for emissions? That will be the deciding factor.
Well since the car is atleast 25 years old i qualify for Historic QQ tags and for a $25 fee im exempt from nj emissions and safety insepctions
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Old 08-25-2017, 11:44 PM   #4
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Re: Vortec heads and TPI style intake or Carburetor?

Yeah I think Scoggins Dickey Chevrolet used to sell Vortec TPI baseplates, but they got discontinued.

you'd have to get lucky and find one used.
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Old 08-26-2017, 12:19 AM   #5
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Re: Vortec heads and TPI style intake or Carburetor?

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Old 08-26-2017, 10:56 AM   #6
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Re: Vortec heads and TPI style intake or Carburetor?

I stand corrected!
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Old 08-28-2017, 09:21 PM   #7
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Re: Vortec heads and TPI style intake or Carburetor?

Ive been contemplating a carburetor. Any suggestions on cfm?
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Old 08-28-2017, 10:05 PM   #8
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Re: Vortec heads and TPI style intake or Carburetor?

With the setup you described, I'd probably go with a 600 cfm for good streetability and all around performance.
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Old 08-29-2017, 07:32 AM   #9
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Re: Vortec heads and TPI style intake or Carburetor?

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Originally Posted by TPI86TA
Well since the car is atleast 25 years old i qualify for Historic QQ tags and for a $25 fee im exempt from nj emissions and safety insepctions
As of March of this year, all vehicles 25 years and older are exempt from inspection in the state of NJ. The DMV will give you a form to give to any officer reminding them in case they pull you over, but they should already know ahead of time because 99% of them will run your plates while being behind you beforehand, so they'll see the year of the car. No QQ tags needed. Run what you want and enjoy your car, but the sound decibel is of course still in play, so don't go running an open exhaust...

- Rob
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Old 08-29-2017, 08:49 AM   #10
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Re: Vortec heads and TPI style intake or Carburetor?

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Ive been contemplating a carburetor. Any suggestions on cfm?
Dominator or go home.

J/K Carbs are the devils fuel mixer. Powered by dark spirits, and the beast in your childhood closet. http://www.hotrod.com/articles/ccrp-...on-the-street/
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Old 08-30-2017, 10:39 AM   #11
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Re: Vortec heads and TPI style intake or Carburetor?

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As of March of this year, all vehicles 25 years and older are exempt from inspection in the state of NJ. The DMV will give you a form to give to any officer reminding them in case they pull you over, but they should already know ahead of time because 99% of them will run your plates while being behind you beforehand, so they'll see the year of the car. No QQ tags needed. Run what you want and enjoy your car, but the sound decibel is of course still in play, so don't go running an open exhaust...

- Rob
No safety check?

In NH it's 20 years for visual emissions components, but we still do the safety.

As far as the car goes, I'd probably do a vortec carb base and an enclosed 4bbl/4inj throttle body.

I really like those units. The fuel atomization is great on them, and there is not a whole lot of benefit of port injection when you are using batch fire injection strategies.

I'd probably consider swapping my miniram for one, but I couldn't really find a decent dual plate intake that will cover a 1206 port. Going to the AFR210 heads on my car kinda limited my intake choices to 'race' manifolds.

The miniram is fantastic in terms of power, but every plug looks different and I don't wanna upgrade the ECU to go full SFI.

-- Joe
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Old 08-30-2017, 04:35 PM   #12
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Re: Vortec heads and TPI style intake or Carburetor?

Thank you guys for all the input! So im leaning towards a holley 650 ultra double pumper with electronic choke or the holley brawler 650 double pumper with electronic choke. Any benefit over one compared to the other, other than price?
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Old 08-31-2017, 02:18 AM   #13
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Re: Vortec heads and TPI style intake or Carburetor?

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No safety check?

In NH it's 20 years for visual emissions components, but we still do the safety.

As far as the car goes, I'd probably do a vortec carb base and an enclosed 4bbl/4inj throttle body.

I really like those units. The fuel atomization is great on them, and there is not a whole lot of benefit of port injection when you are using batch fire injection strategies.

I'd probably consider swapping my miniram for one, but I couldn't really find a decent dual plate intake that will cover a 1206 port. Going to the AFR210 heads on my car kinda limited my intake choices to 'race' manifolds.

The miniram is fantastic in terms of power, but every plug looks different and I don't wanna upgrade the ECU to go full SFI.

-- Joe
Connecticut is 25 years and done for emissions. No visual, no safety.
Actually CT closed the inspection stations years ago, so no inspections either.
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Old 08-31-2017, 07:19 AM   #14
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Re: Vortec heads and TPI style intake or Carburetor?

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I'd probably consider swapping my miniram for one, but I couldn't really find a decent dual plate intake that will cover a 1206 port. Going to the AFR210 heads on my car kinda limited my intake choices to 'race' manifolds.

The miniram is fantastic in terms of power, but every plug looks different and I don't wanna upgrade the ECU to go full SFI.

-- Joe
Off post topic but if you havenít already, might want to check out the Brodix HVH 1016 dual plane. It can go out to a 1206 and when used with a HVH street sweeper spacer, they can make really close to the upper RPM power (at a couple hundred RPM less) of an out of the box single plane while making considerably more torque. I didn't check, but at one time there were a couple internet dyno comparisons that substantiated that). Itís pretty much my go to for anyone willing to spend the money on one for a serious street/strip application that wonít be running a heavy shot of nitrous. Itíll typically ET better than most single planes when running a moderate stall speed converter and provide a good bit better throttle response.
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Old 08-31-2017, 08:28 AM   #15
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Re: Vortec heads and TPI style intake or Carburetor?

I ran a Vortec head flat tappet 350 in my last Trans Am. 218 218 duration, 465 lift Herberts cam. Edelbrock Performer intake, Holley 650 DP. Loved it. Even with highway gears it ran some 13.7s and it was strong enough to shred one 10 bolt rear. Also had good street manners got 16-17 mpg with the 700r4. If I would have had a good torque converter and gears I think it could have ran very low 13s. It was strong.
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Old 08-31-2017, 08:57 AM   #16
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Re: Vortec heads and TPI style intake or Carburetor?

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... he gave me the entire car with the engine for $800.
How much for the title w/roller? How bad is the metal work needed? Any pics?
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Old 08-31-2017, 09:50 AM   #17
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Re: Vortec heads and TPI style intake or Carburetor?

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Off post topic but if you havenít already, might want to check out the Brodix HVH 1016 dual plane. It can go out to a 1206 and when used with a HVH street sweeper spacer, they can make really close to the upper RPM power (at a couple hundred RPM less) of an out of the box single plane while making considerably more torque. I didn't check, but at one time there were a couple internet dyno comparisons that substantiated that). Itís pretty much my go to for anyone willing to spend the money on one for a serious street/strip application that wonít be running a heavy shot of nitrous. Itíll typically ET better than most single planes when running a moderate stall speed converter and provide a good bit better throttle response.
Thank you!

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Old 08-31-2017, 09:19 PM   #18
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Re: Vortec heads and TPI style intake or Carburetor?

You may want to consider a vacuum secondary carb over a "double pumper". Performance-wise, any vacuum carb of the appropriate size can deliver every bit the same performance as a mechanical secondary carb. And you'll be infinitely happier with the fuel consumption as well. My own street heap will knock down 20 MPG (US) highway and run 12.40 @ 109 (3600lbs). Mileage in the city will see even a greater difference.
The tried and true RPM Air Gap is never a bad choice as far as intake manifolds go. I've had one on various Vortec headed 350's (both OEM and aftermarket versions). It's a good match to your heads and cam.

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...I'd probably do a vortec carb base and an enclosed 4bbl/4inj throttle body.
I like that suggestion too.

Last edited by skinny z; 08-31-2017 at 10:12 PM.
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Old 09-02-2017, 03:41 AM   #19
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Re: Vortec heads and TPI style intake or Carburetor?

Ok so after doing some research i thing i found an affordable carburetor with great reviews from summit racing.
https://m.summitracing.com/parts/dem-1901/none/images
Street Demon, 625 cfm, 4-Barrel, Square Bore/Spread Bore, Electric Choke, vacuum secondary, Composite Bowl

I appreciate all the help. The world of carburetors is totally new to me. Ive never in my life worked on one. I think now i just have to figure out what to do for a fuel pump and mounting location, and figure out what other parts, and gas line stuff i need. Ive always had fuel injected trans ams since i was a teenager.

Last edited by TPI86TA; 09-02-2017 at 10:13 AM. Reason: Typo
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Old 09-02-2017, 03:47 AM   #20
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Re: Vortec heads and TPI style intake or Carburetor?

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How much for the title w/roller? How bad is the metal work needed? Any pics?
where at in nj you located? Shoot me a pm and ill give you some more info and my cell number
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Old 09-02-2017, 09:38 AM   #21
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Re: Vortec heads and TPI style intake or Carburetor?

Do yourself a HUGE favour and invest in a wideband O2 sensor. It will make a WORLD of difference in tuning despite what anyone else might tell you. I've been tuning carbs for a long time (don't ask how long please) and the advent of the affordable AFR gauge made a night and day difference in the approach, time spent and the results.
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Old 09-02-2017, 10:33 AM   #22
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Re: Vortec heads and TPI style intake or Carburetor?

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Do yourself a HUGE favour and invest in a wideband O2 sensor. It will make a WORLD of difference in tuning despite what anyone else might tell you. I've been tuning carbs for a long time (don't ask how long please) and the advent of the affordable AFR gauge made a night and day difference in the approach, time spent and the results.
so can i just buy a wide band oxygen sensor and install it in place of the stock sensor and hook it up to any afr gauge? I saw those air fuel management kits but wow theyre pricey
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Old 09-02-2017, 10:38 AM   #23
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Re: Vortec heads and TPI style intake or Carburetor?

So it looks like i have to do away with the in tank electronic fuel pump. Anyone have suggestions on a decent mechanical fuel pump?
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Old 09-02-2017, 11:22 AM   #24
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Re: Vortec heads and TPI style intake or Carburetor?

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so can i just buy a wide band oxygen sensor and install it in place of the stock sensor and hook it up to any afr gauge? I saw those air fuel management kits but wow theyre pricey


Yes. As long as you have no need for it.
https://m.summitracing.com/parts/avm-30-4110
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Old 09-02-2017, 03:34 PM   #25
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Re: Vortec heads and TPI style intake or Carburetor?

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So it looks like i have to do away with the in tank electronic fuel pump. Anyone have suggestions on a decent mechanical fuel pump?
Or a decent 3 port return style afpr?
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Old 09-02-2017, 03:50 PM   #26
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Re: Vortec heads and TPI style intake or Carburetor?

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Or a decent 3 port return style afpr?
Go with a good AFPR.

How are you gonna control timing, torque converter lockup, and fuel pump?

-- Joe
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Old 09-02-2017, 06:08 PM   #27
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Re: Vortec heads and TPI style intake or Carburetor?

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So it looks like i have to do away with the in tank electronic fuel pump. Anyone have suggestions on a decent mechanical fuel pump?
Carter M6626. Less than $20.
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Old 09-02-2017, 07:53 PM   #28
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Re: Vortec heads and TPI style intake or Carburetor?

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Carter M6626. Less than $20.
I had selected that pump because of the return line feature. Problem was, it didn't keep up with the engine demands. Whether the pump itself simply didn't deliver enough fuel for my engine output or it was the layout of my fuel system or a combination of the two, I can't say.
I can say that the M6626 has come recommended more than once but for me, I had to put it on the shelf and go back to noisy old Holley Blue pump that I was experimenting with.
Here's a link to a thread I started going over a couple of mechanical I was working with.

https://www.thirdgen.org/forums/carb...edelbrock.html (Mechanical Fuel Pumps: Edelbrock vs Carter)

For the record, my fuel demands were whatever was needed to get a 3600 lb chassis to trap at 108 mph. 40 gph (calculated using Brake Specific Fuel Consumption for 400 HP) is about it and that's the advertised rating of the M6626. However that's free flow. Once you factor in the bends and filters plus the g-forces trying to pull the fuel back into the tank, you can see where it's not up to the task in my particular case. As for the OP, I can't say for sure.
That said , the Carter M6215 was suggested in the thread I started about this.
With a link to the M6215 here. It's rated at 65 GPH.

https://www.summitracing.com/int/parts/crt-m6215

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Or a decent 3 port return style afpr?
I'm using Holley's by-pass regulator with a Holley Blue electric pump. Not certain but perhaps you can retain the OEM EFI in tank pump and tune it for use with your carb using this regulator.

https://www.holley.com/products/fuel...parts/12-803BP

Last edited by skinny z; 09-02-2017 at 08:01 PM.
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Old 09-03-2017, 06:45 AM   #29
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Re: Vortec heads and TPI style intake or Carburetor?

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where at in nj you located? Shoot me a pm and ill give you some more info and my cell number...
I'm in Old Bridge, New Jersey... literally just five minutes from Raceway Park.

Get the Mallory 4309, it is an improved version of the Mallory 4307 that everyone here used once upon a time. It is important to get an adjustable fuel pressure regulator that goes down to around 3-5psi, from 50-psi. Do not go with a mechanical fuel pump. Will help you tune the engine with the carb if you need any help, its very easy. Use a vacuum adjusted distributor for now until you can get your hands on a good electronically controlled one, as well as a standalone TCC control kit. However, I may just convince you to stick with the TPI instead if you swing by my house....

- Rob
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Old 09-03-2017, 06:03 PM   #30
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Re: Vortec heads and TPI style intake or Carburetor?

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I'm in Old Bridge, New Jersey... literally just five minutes from Raceway Park. - Rob
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Old 09-03-2017, 08:21 PM   #31
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Re: Vortec heads and TPI style intake or Carburetor?

=TPI86TA;6164139]So i had an engine issue with the rings on my 350 TPI GTA. I was going to do a rebuild but instead I got a great deal on an engine. An old buddy of mine had his old 89 formula he stripped down and was parting out, and he gave me the entire car with the engine for $800. The engine was carbureted and it has 10,000 miles on the rebuild and has the following work done:
355 small block
TRW forged pistons
Comp XE268 cam
Vortec Heads
Crane Gold Roller Rockers 1.6
Edelbrock RPM airgap intake
Cloyes double roller timing set
010 2bolt main high nickel block

So my question is, would it be easier and cheaper just to get a carburetor for the intake? And if so whats involved? Different fuel pump, etc... I thought about sticking with the tpi set up, however[/QUOTE] i heard theres only certain tpi type intakes compatible with vortec heads. Any suggestions on where to get a compatible intake?[/QUOTE] I saw JEGS has this..
http://www.jegs.com/i/Speedmaster/74....1048/10002/-1


The FIRST Tpi is available for the Vortec heads.
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Old 09-03-2017, 09:30 PM   #32
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Re: Vortec heads and TPI style intake or Carburetor?

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Old 09-03-2017, 11:46 PM   #33
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Re: Vortec heads and TPI style intake or Carburetor?

Thanks for the advice man, i appreciate it
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Old 09-03-2017, 11:58 PM   #34
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Re: Vortec heads and TPI style intake or Carburetor?

Thanks man, ive read that a few times. Sounds simple enough. Im just wondering, so the new fuel lines that connect from the afpr, to the old fuel lines under the fire wall, can they be gas rated rubber hoses with pipe clamps, or do you hard pipe some of it with a flare tool?

Last edited by TPI86TA; 09-03-2017 at 11:59 PM. Reason: Typo
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Old 09-04-2017, 12:36 AM   #35
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Re: Vortec heads and TPI style intake or Carburetor?

IMO, the possibility of leaks and the chances of the lines getting caught on something and ripping a line off of the metal tubing would be my concerns. If cutting and clamping then, I would use fuel injection hose with 2 FI type hose clamps in opposite directions. Old school rubber fuel line will not cut it anymore with the additives in today's gasoline. I would probably fabricate some type of sheet metal guard to protect the connections. Plus it would double as a heat shield.

Last edited by NoEmissions84TA; 09-04-2017 at 12:44 AM.
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Old 09-04-2017, 06:52 AM   #36
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Re: Vortec heads and TPI style intake or Carburetor?

Do the current fuel lines end on the drivers side frame towards the front?
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Old 09-04-2017, 07:05 AM   #37
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Re: Vortec heads and TPI style intake or Carburetor?

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There is no smiley for, "I'M JEALOUS" !!!
Oh you would have a blast over here. It gets annoying sometimes just how many cars show up, I mean between New York and New Jersey, they actually lose room in the pits at some points. This video embellishes just how many show up for the Ratchet Friday events, and the other regular test and tune or bracket racing days are just as packed.

Had my GTA there a few nights, but did not race. Not ashamed to admit it, but my ride just can't compete yet which is why I slapped the turbo back on last week. Cars are just too damn fast, and I'm talking street cars. You would love it. Yes the lanes to the right of the track outside the park are waiting to get in, and the sun is already down...

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Old 09-04-2017, 06:01 PM   #38
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Re: Vortec heads and TPI style intake or Carburetor?

So i just peaked under the hood of the car with the engine and i just realized i do have a distributor with the vacuum port on it and a flame thrower ignition module, and petronix coil. So now i need to figure out something for a tcc control kit, and my fuel lines

Last edited by TPI86TA; 09-04-2017 at 08:30 PM.
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Old 09-04-2017, 07:22 PM   #39
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Re: Vortec heads and TPI style intake or Carburetor?

Run a 12 volt switched wire to the fuse pump relay to trigger the stock TPI pump when the key is turned on so you have fuel. Keep the stock TPI fuel lines in place, and run saginaw fitting adapters from Jegs from the drivers side of the engine bay to the adjustable fuel pressure regulator, and then to the carburetor. The lockup kit can be purchased from Jegs or Summit, or you can even nab one off of ebay, or make one yourself by trigerring the stock parts...

- Rob

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Old 09-04-2017, 08:33 PM   #40
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Re: Vortec heads and TPI style intake or Carburetor?

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Run a 12 volt switched wire to the fuse pump relay to trigger the stock TPI pump when the key is turned on so you have fuel. Keep the stock TPI fuel lines in place, and run saginaw fitting adapters from Jegs from the drivers side of the engine bay to the adjustable fuel pressure regulator, and then to the carburetor. The lockup kit can be purchased from Jegs or Summit, or you can even nab one off of ebay, or make one yourself by trigerring the stock parts...

- Rob

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QCFOphXfEbQ
My thoughts too more or less.
If the drivers side fuel lines are there, mount the regulator close by. I've used my OEM steel fuel lines using tube to AN adapters and then braided line to the regulator, return line and the carb. In my case I've extended the feed and return lines along the k-member. That's because at one time I had been running a mechanical pump and needing everything on the passenger side. To do it again, I'd keep all of the components on the driver's side as Lethal suggests. Less length. Fewer bends.
The TCC kit or one you build yourself is simple enough. I wired my own incorporating the brake switch, an OEM vacuum switch as well as a manual disconnect so I can disable the TCC should I want to.
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Old 09-04-2017, 10:08 PM   #41
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Re: Vortec heads and TPI style intake or Carburetor?

Thats perfect man, thats what i want to do. Just connect some sort of adapter and braided lines. Something reliable and decent looking, not rigged up with rubber gas hose and clamps.

Last edited by TPI86TA; 09-04-2017 at 10:11 PM.
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Old 09-04-2017, 10:17 PM   #42
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Re: Vortec heads and TPI style intake or Carburetor?

StreetLethal, i love it, those kits seem like an easy way to go
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